Substantive short articles on Marxian sociology

Monopsony Capitalism and Worker Power in the Global Garment Industry

The pandemic and its economic effects have accelerated many of the changing dynamics that I outline in 'Monopsony Capitalism: Power and Production in the Twilight of the Sweatshop Age'. Indeed, the COVID-19 crisis lays bare the consequences of years of overreach by global brands as well as the growth, consolidation and organisation of suppliers in the apparel industry.

By |2020-06-24T10:00:25-04:00Jun 24, 2020|

Pandemic’s Lesson: Global Capitalism is Uneven and Dangerously Particularistic

There is probably no better example of why “it is much easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism” than governments’ responses to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The problem is not so much that the structural and ideological hegemony of capital accumulation prevents us from [...]

By |2020-06-18T16:47:21-04:00Jun 18, 2020|

The Political Economy of Peacebuilding in Somalia

There will be a long political struggle to build an equitable Somalia, it will be complicated and frustrating, and it will require cultivating new social imaginaries that link political, economic, and cultural domains of life in a way that challenges the present era of depressing capitalist realism.

By |2020-06-17T12:44:11-04:00Jun 17, 2020|

Statement of Support for Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police

Black lives matter. Between 1963 and 1972, there were more than 750 Black-led urban revolts in the United States in 525 cities. How did sociologists react? A number of prominent scholars dismissed these uprisings as irrational, violent outbursts, going so far as to exclude all “collective acts of violence” from [...]

By |2020-06-13T08:42:46-04:00Jun 12, 2020|

What Socialists Can Take From Corporate Strategic Management

How might we imagine a transition to a socialist economy? There are clues in unlikely places: the management practices of some private corporations, which have been developing planned, democratic economies in miniature.

By |2020-06-03T10:11:53-04:00Jun 3, 2020|

Self-Exploitation in China

Under Deng Xiaoping’s famous slogan, “liberating the productive forces” (jie fang sheng chan li), the official policy of liberal reform – strong state intervention in the labor market – has worked in support of commodification of labor, rather than constructing a system of social welfare that restricts the impact of market forces in China. When it comes to the price for labor power, there are two kinds of remuneration: the direct and the indirect salary (or fringe benefits). The first resembles what we know as hourly wage, whereas the second “is redistributed through a social agency.” For most welfare states, this social agency refers to the State, or a statutory agency that manages the social security fund, for example. As regards the Chinese context, it is the household solidarity characterized by auto-exploitation and auto-deprivation of rural households that has played this role.

By |2020-05-27T13:23:11-04:00May 27, 2020|

Precarity and the Politics of Existential Crisis

How we navigate this moment of intense uncertainty and collective anxiety will shape the future. Thinking about the many ways that our precarity manifests will be crucial to avoid re-inscribing the inequalities and injustices of the pre-coronavirus world.

By |2020-05-13T14:37:28-04:00May 13, 2020|

An Organic Crisis Is Upon Us

While all of the various crises that comprise the larger organic crisis are inextricable, I’ve tried to map out in schematic form a number of the crises I see cascading across our conjuncture. As you will see, it’s nearly impossible to talk about one without talking about all, but that’s what I’ve tried to do here: provide a roadmap to the organic crisis that’s only just begun.

By |2020-05-06T16:39:58-04:00May 1, 2020|

Financial Crisis, Capitalist Power and US State Exceptionalism

Capitalists exercise disproportionate political power through both the state and the market, and their power derives primarily from the productive assets they hold. However, over the last 40 years, the assets of the rich have been financialized. This has increased their ability to exit political territories through capital markets. While this increases the power of capitalists to avoid expropriation demands, unique characteristics about the American state might make it best positioned to take finance on. 

By |2020-04-29T10:34:58-04:00Apr 29, 2020|
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